The MOONS team was saddened to hear of the recent death of David Sun, one of the key mechanical designers on the project. David had worked for many years at Cambridge University as part of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, contributing to many different astronomical projects for telescopes around the world. David was involved with … Continue reading Thank you David
Two instruments for the price of one!
MOONS is effectively two instruments, the Rotating Front End (RFE) that bolts to the telescope and gathers the incoming light into optical fibres, and then the spectrograph where the light from the fibres is analysed. The RFE has been designed and built in Lisbon and after many years or painstaking work, it has now arrived … Continue reading Two instruments for the price of one!
A 500th Fibre Positioning Unit (FPU) was recently installed on the MOONS focal plate. This represents a significant moment as we are now halfway to completion of building up this remarkable forest of 1000 fibre positioners. The image below captures the growing collection of positioners in all their glory. Half the focal plate filled with FPUs … Continue reading Half-way home
New year, new gratings
MOONS has taken delivery of the two high-resolution H-band VPH diffraction gratings. These beautiful looking gratings were manufactured by Kaiser Optical Systems, Inc. in US and represent a remarkable technical achievement. Only a handful of such large gratings for these wavelengths and resolutions have ever been manufactured, and MOONS made the task even more challenging as its large … Continue reading New year, new gratings
The photons are coming
MOONS has reached a major milestone. After years of planning, photons are about to pass through many metres of fibre, millions of pounds of optics and finally arrive on the detectors. This will be the first test of the full light path of the instrument, and indeed the first time many of the different components … Continue reading The photons are coming
The MOONS cryostat has arrived in Edinburgh – and it’s big. This is a key milestone for the project and allows much of the major assembly to really get under way. MOONS will be unique in providing wavelength coverage out to 1.8 microns, with a high multiplex. But this comes at a cost: to work … Continue reading Blue MOONS
MOONS recently took delivery of two of the largest optical components in the instrument: the main collimator mirrors for each spectrograph manufactured by KiwiStar Optics in New Zealand. Last week a team from Arcetri Observatory, Florence came to Edinburgh to install these two large optics within the not-insignificantly sized mounting structures that they had designed for … Continue reading Collimation
Mounting mighty lenses
The first set of optics for a MOONS camera have been delivered and successfully mounted into their housings. The six near-identical cameras in the MOONS spectrograph all use the same innovative optical design, more information on which can be found here. This first set of optics is for one of the two YJ-band cameras. Five … Continue reading Mounting mighty lenses
Ready to split the beam
This week MOONS has taken delivery of its first major optical components, the RI band dichroics. Each of the two MOONS spectrographs has three different spectral channels; light is split into these channels through two dichroics. The dichroics received are the first ones in the beam, which reflect the short wavelength radiation into the RI … Continue reading Ready to split the beam
Progress on the MOONS cameras
A major assembly test has been successfully carried out for the MOONS cameras. The main mechanical structure for the MOONS cameras is being built and tested in Cambridge, but the structure to support and focus the camera detectors is being built in Edinburgh. For the first time these two complex assemblies have been joined together … Continue reading Progress on the MOONS cameras